South Korea retaliates after North Korea fires missile launches | USA TODAY

South Korea retaliates after North Korea fires missile launches | USA TODAY thumbnail

At least 17 missiles were fired by North Korea, according to South Korea who retaliated with their own missile testing.

RELATED: Sirens sound alarm when North Korea launches missile over Japan

According to the U.S. Indo Pacific Command, the launches showed the “destabilizing effect” of North Korea’s illicit nuclear weapons program and ballistic missile program. According to the Japanese Defense Ministry, it detected the launches as well and was still analyzing the flight information and type of missiles used.

According to South Korea’s Foreign Ministry, its top nuclear envoy had separate phone conversations with his U.S. counterpart and his Japanese counterpart shortly after the launches. The three sides agreed to strengthen trilateral coordination regarding North Korea, while reiterating their call for North Korea to cease weapons testing and to return to negotiations.

In simulated nuclear weapons tests, North Korea launched missiles at the sea since September. North Korea claims its missile testing was part of a series South Korea-U.S. military drills. Experts believe Pyongyang also used rival drills to test new weapons systems and boost its nuclear capabilities, and increase its leverage in future negotiations with Washington and Seoul.

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